Sunday, January 24, 2010

Resilience, Protection, Mitigation, and Engineers

Last May, I gave a lecture at the Heritage Foundation about Unfinished Business at FEMA.

I made the point that there should be better coordination between Preparedness, Mitigation, and by inference Critical Infrastructure.

Now that there is growing recognition that resilience is a key strategy for a safer homeland, the time has come to better involve engineers in the process.

For example, FEMA Mitigation has a strong engineering orientation and done some excellent work in creating many publications in their Building Sciences Division. Those pubs should be a foundation for the work of Preparedness and Infrastructure Protection.

The organization structure potentially creates barriers to collaboration. What is needed is leadership and processes that facilitate it. Hiring more engineers into Infrastructure Protection and creating working groups composed of Mitigation, Preparedness, and the Office of Infrastructure Protection (OIP) would be a good first step.

In the private sector, The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been producing a report card for several years that could be an input to the resilience measurement process. I'll have more to say on this next week.

Thanks for checking in,


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creating a Roadmap for ASCE National Infrastructure Guiding Principles

I wrote a few weeks ago about the recently developed National Infrastructure Guiding Principles by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The four guidelines are supported by 15 recommendations.

1. Quantify, communicate, and manage risk

2. Employ an integrated systems approach

3. Exercise sound leadership, management, and stewardship in decision-making processes

4. Adapt critical infrastructure in response to dynamic conditions and practice

An initial effort to introduce the guidelines to students will take place at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in April. The call for papers describes the symposium and can be found on the home page of my website.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven D. Hart, Ph.D., P.E., US Army Corps of Engineers has organized the symposium. He is also a corresponding member of the ASCE Committee on Critical Infrastructure.

Joe Manous, the Chair of the Task Group that developed the Guidelines has been making presentations around the country to communicate the guidelines. His briefing can be found on my website.

The implementation roadmap will be developed over the next year to implement the guidelines.

Thanks for checking in.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

National Preparedness System: PNSR studies pathway to the future

The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) has published a new report that outlines the root cause problems with improving National Preparedness and suggests some possible solutions. The report called Recalibrating the System: Toward an Efficient and Effective Resourcing of National Preparedness is available at the PNSR website or my website below.

The report was facilitated by John Morton for PNSR and I was pleased to lead the issue team that included former senior representatives from DHS and FEMA, state and local government officials and the private sector.

The report outlines two key problems: (1) Unresolved Conflict over All-Hazards Risk and (2) Inadequate Capabilities for Catastrophic Operational Planning to include the issue of grants as the primary tool for resourcing national preparedness.

The solutions focus on assumptions that are built on the continued implementation of the Post Katrina Emergency Reform Act (PKEMRA).

The report is well worth reading.

Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terror (MIPT), Executive Director David Cid commented this week in an Oklahoman –MIPT opinion piece- “Is the Shark Moving?” (12/30/09). He provides an interesting perspective on the Flight 253 incident.

Thanks for checking in.